Robert De Niro's New York apartment caught fire on Friday after but it is not known whether his family were at home.
Robert De Niro's apartment caught fire on Friday (08.06.12) after lint in a clothes dryer sparked flames.
Battalion Chief Mike Meyers told the New York Post: ''The dryer in [De Niro's unit] caused the fire.''
According to Mike, the whole of the fifth floor where the Oscar-winning actor and his family resides suffered severe damage; the building's fourth and sixth floors were also damaged by the flames, smoke, and water.
A neighbour on the floor above said: ''I had a real hard time getting out of the building. The smoke was so dark and heavy, it was hard to breathe.''
An eyewitness, who was driving by in his car at the time, also spoke to the newspaper.
He said: ''Right above my head these 12 foot tall flames exploded out of the fifth floor window.''
The film star is married to actress Grace Hightower, with whom he has two children, Elliot and Helen.
It is unknown whether the 68-year-old actor or his family were at home when the fire broke out.